US & Canada

Carlina White US baby kidnap: 'Mother' Ann Pettway held

Ann Pettway, pic released in May 2010
Image caption Ann Pettway is listed as being on probation until 2012

The US woman who brought up high-profile child-kidnap victim Carlina White, who went on to solve her own abduction, has been taken into custody.

Ann Pettway, 44, surrendered to FBI agents in Connecticut.

An arrest warrant had been issued in North Carolina, where Ms Pettway lives, as officials believed she had violated a probation requirement.

Ms White was taken from hospital in New York in 1987 at just 19 days old and has been reunited with her true mother.

Ms White said she had always had a sense she did not belong to the family that raised her and began her own inquiries.

DNA tests this week confirmed Carlina as the daughter of Joy White and Carl Tyson in a case that has made headline news in the US and internationally.

'Emotional'

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent William Reiner said Ms Pettway was required not to leave North Carolina as part of her probation following a conviction for attempted embezzlement. She is on parole until 2012.

North Carolina officials believed Ms Pettway, who lives in Raleigh, was on the run.

Investigators in the Carlina White case had been unable to contact Ms Pettway to discuss the abduction.

Because the statute of limitations on the case has expired in New York, it may be transferred to federal officials, as there is no statute on missing children in federal law.

Carlina's grandmother, Elizabeth White, said: "The FBI is trying to get to the bottom of this. They're wondering who in the Pettway family is involved and who is not involved."

Carlina White's biological father, Carl Tyson, told People magazine the arrest of Ms Pettway was "emotional".

He said: "However they prosecute her, that's up to them. I would just like to ask her, 'Why?'"

Suspicions

Carlina White was abducted from hospital after being taken there with a fever by her mother.

There were reports of a woman wearing nurse's clothing who had consoled the mother but who later picked up the baby and walked out of the building.

Although the abduction made headlines, investigators could not find a breakthrough and the case went cold.

Carlina was then raised as Nejdra Nance in Connecticut and later moved to Georgia.

But Carlina had long held misgivings as she did not resemble any of her family and suspected the woman who raised her used fake social security ID.

After starting her own investigations, Carlina finally contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and discovered a photo of a baby on its website she believed to be her.

The centre helped Ms White, who called her biological mother on 4 January.

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